Re: An Insight on Agencies

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Posted by SDM on December 09, 2012 at 10:39:58:

In Reply to: An Insight on Agencies posted by Capt Nemo on December 08, 2012 at 08:29:00:

The perpetration of the charade of history continues--
It is very important to record and remember the very short history of recreational diving but do it correctly--devoid of I think I believe I suppose..
You did well--- but there are a few of your statements that need a certain amount of additional clarification and detail

"15 October 1953: The BSAC is founded"

>>>BSAC was a formation of diving clubs like the early councils and clubs in US, like LACD ,since 1960 known as GLACD. All were teaching SCUBA diving or as it was referred to "Lung diving" but were unorganized with no standards and only one manual which came with the purchase of the Aqua Lung. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"1954 First Scuba certification course in the USA is offered by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. Program created by Albert Tillman and Bev Morgan now known as LA County Scuba."

>>>It was the first civilian organized "scuba" course based on the SIO course established by Connie Limbaugh and Andy Rechnitzer. SIO and UCLA had established diving programs for their scientific students.

Al Tillman was a SR Aquatics specialist who was involved with LA Co swimming pools, Bev was a life guard, they along with another life guard, Ramsey Parks traveled to SD to take the SIO course and learn how to teach diving

The initial civilian courses were taught by LA Co life guards. In 1955 the course was opened to the public as the LA Co Underwater Instructor Certification Course, AKA UICC and the grads were known as "Underwater Instructors." It was and still is a very difficult course; many apply only a few graduate and have the right of being referred to as an "LA Co Underwater Instructor."

Bev or the late E.R. Cross were the first to publish a civilian diving manual in 1954- it has been disputed who was first since 1954-Only two originals of Bev's Underwater Recreation are known to remain, there are many of ER's floating around.

The first woman to be certified as an LA Co UW instructor was Dottie Frazier, who is 90 years young and still lives in Long Beach. I suspect she would enjoy a visit from some of you modern super duper female divers.

"1959: NAUI is founded by Albert Tillman and Neal Hess"

>>>Neil Hess, was the brother of the late Roger Hess. Neil wrote a column for a number of years in Skin Diver magazine (SDM)titled "American Divers Patrol," based on the American Ski Patrol. Neil passed away in late 1959 or early 1960.

>Al Tillman who was one of the greatest organizers of diving events took over Neil's SDM column and recognized a need for a national unified standard diving course. In 1960 The newly formed Underwater Society of America (USA) held a national conference in Houston Texas. In August 1960 Al Tillman and others taught the first NAUI course, based on the LA Co UICC. Lots of provisional only a few passed, later the course requirements were watered down.

At that time at that conference the name NAUI was created and the first course taught

Only one instructor of that NAUI course remains alive, Harry Vetter--A little reminiscences --Harry Vetter

Harry who? Vetter?
A friend for 60 or more years, diving buddy for many of those years.

Let me tell you about Harry Vetter....

Pioneer LA county Underwater Instructor (ever wonder why LA Co types are referred to as "Underwater Instructors" rather than SCUBA instructors? The term SCUBA was not in common usage in 1954 when LA Co was established)

Harry also has the dubious distinction of being the last of the original instructors who taught the very first NAUI Instructor's course at Houston in August 1960, all the rest are now diving on the big reef in the sky; Dr. Al Tillman, NAUI #1 Al Jones #2, Dr. Andy Rechnitzer #3 are gone- all gone. Only Harry Vetter NAUI #4 remains.

During his recent two day visit from his home in Oregon Harry indicated he had contacted NAUI HQ and chatted with a clerk about a replacement card. The clerk could not comprehend that his instructor number was 4 and could not locate his records, after all, almost a half a century had passed since 1960.

A few days after his departure I contacted Cathy Cush at NAUI. She was unaware that Harry had contacted them or that he was still alive. She was very grateful for the historical link to the past. A fast review of NAUI records indicated Harry was the "Oldest Living NAUI instructor" and I as NAUI instructor #27 was "one of the oldest living instructors." A few days ago Harry and I received a very special one of a kind NAUI instructor card in the mail. According to a note it was the first two to be issued

Lets place Harry's distinction of NAUI Instructor #4 in proper prospective...1960 was 52 years ago, most of you were not alive or if you were you were probably too young to be interested in recreational diving.

Harry's visit produced a non stop 24X7 conversation of days, events and people of the past.

The many dives, summer and winter prior to the wet suit with only long underwear and GI sweaters for thermal protection, Churchill fins for propulsion, home made snorkels fashioned from a WW 11 gas mask hose and a piece of aquarium hose, the home made masks fashioned from a piece of fire hose ( see www portagequarry.com ; Legends of diving "The Mask")(Also Eric Hanauer's SDM article about UW artist John Steele- the picture he had painted in the background is a young me clad in a WW 11 GI sweater, wearing a Sturgil mask,Green churchills, diving on a terrified fish)

The many trips deep into Baja for clear water teaming with game; the many fish and huge lobsters....

The time we came around a corner on the "old road" near what is known now as "La Mission" and were stopped by a huge bond fire in the middle of the road by what we thought were well armed Mexican bandits, but lucky for us they were military searching for escapees from the Ensenada jail.

The LA county and later NAUI classes we taught and the laughs we had...the 38 foot diving charter boat "Say when" (Say when are we getting there?, Say when will it stop rocking? Say when will we get back to San Pedro?)... the student who fastened his wet suit beaver tail over the railing and did a back entry and was suspended up side down....The arrogant self impressed gymnast who rather doing a "giant stride entry" attempted a hand stand entry in full gear, but for what ever reason did not let go and came crashing down on the side of the boat. Certainly got the attention of all on board and gave us cause for alarm.

The many locations we were the first to dive up and down the Baja and California coast, and the famous Farnsworth banks in December 1960--but that is a story for another time.

So many stories...
but then who is concerned about the way we were?
or how we got to where we are?

At #4 Harry is the oldest living NAUI instructor
At # 27 I am the oldest living NAUI instructor in Kalifornia

Not certain about LA County program


1966: PADI starts

PADI actually began in 1969. John Cronin, Ralph Erikson and Bob Chow had gathered a number of prospective mid west instructors for a NAUI course. Due to a gross miss communication, NAUI assumed the course had been cancelled, and as required did not send a representative from NAUI HQ to the course. The trio of Cronin, Erikson and Chow had gathered divers from far and wide and needed to create some sort of a diving certification course. Since NAUI had treated them so unprofessional they were determined to become "Professional"

In 1969 Jim Carroll, who had been the President and General Manager (GM) of US Divers for a number of years departed. In 1970 John Cronin arrived in California as the new GM of US Divers. He pulled Nic Icorn off a drafting table, established a very small office on 17th street in Costa Mesa gave him a card board box of names of the first and only PADI course and instructed him to organized and create a program. And he did..send in a simple application along with a few dollars and become a PADI instructor.

PADI became the joke of the community..John Gaffney of NASDS certified his dog as a PADI instructor, another certified his Duck etc. That was the beginning now it is much simpler just....Put Another Dollar In..

2001 December: The BSAC allows rebreathers to be used in BSAC dives

2009 June: NAUI approves the first Standard Dress Sport Diving course. The course is conducted in Australia, bringing antique helmet diving back

Draw your own conclusion about leadership in dive instruction...

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